Kansas men's basketball will embark on a four game exhibition trip to Switzerland and France Aug. 5-14. The KU contingent will stay three nights in Zurich, Switzerland, playing two games against the Swiss National Team Aug. 7 and 8 at Fribourg Arena in Fribourg, Switzerland. The Aug. 7 contest is slated to start at 7 p.m. local time, which is noon in Kansas (Central time). The Aug. 8 game will begin at 5 p.m. Swiss time or 10 a.m. in Kansas.
On Aug. 9, the KU party will travel to Paris, France, where it will stay for five nights. In between the sightseeing, etc., KU will twice play AMW Team France, a squad consisting of French A and B professionals, as part of EURO JAM PARIS 2012. Playing at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, the Jayhawks and French pros will tip off Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. France time (1 p.m. in Kansas) and Aug. 12, also at 8 p.m. in France. The EURO JAM PARIS 2012 event runs from Aug. 11-15 with Virginia, Colorado and Penn State women's team also participating.
Under head coach Bill Self, who enters his 10th season at Kansas with a 269-52 record while at KU and 476-158 in 19 seasons overall, Kansas returns three starters and eight letterwinners from last season's 32-7 (16-2 Big 12) team. Last season the Jayhawks won its eighth-straight Big 12 regular-season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament title game in New Orleans.
Three seniors comprise the returning starters in guards Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford and center Jeff Withey. Johnson is KU's leading returning scorer averaging 10.2 points per game in 2011-12, while Releford scored 8.5 points per contest and averaged 4.2 rebounds per outing. Last season Withey broke the Kansas and Big 12 Conference single-season blocked shots record with 140 blocks, including an NCAA Tournament record 31 blocked shots in six games.
He averaged 9.3 points per game and his 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocked shots per contest make him the leading returning stat leader in those categories. Other KU regulars from last year include senior forward Kevin Young (3.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and junior forward Justin Wesley (1.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg).
Kansas has 10 freshmen on its roster this season with two - Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor - who were NCAA partial qualifiers last season. The duo is redshirts for 2012-13 and practiced with the team following the fall 2011 semester. Both know Bill Self's system, will have an immediate impact on the rotation and could crack into the starting lineup.
Six of the other eight freshmen on the roster are on scholarship: guards Rio Adams, Milton Doyle and Andrew White and forwards Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas and Zach Peters. All come to Kansas with high accolades and should add to the Jayhawks' team effort from the start.
Adding depth at the guard positions are invited walk ons: junior Niko Roberts, sophomore Christian Garrett and freshmen Evan Manning and Tyler Self.
Kansas Exhibition Play
Kansas is making its fourth exhibition men's basketball trip outside the United States, including its third under head coach Bill Self. KU will be traveling to Europe for the second time with the first in December 1995 to Strasbourg, France. Ironically, the 1995 France trip marked the last time Kansas lost an exhibition contest as the Jayhawks went 0-3.
Since that time KU has won 39-straight exhibition contests, including a 4-0 record in 2004 in British Columbia, Canada and a 3-0 mark in 2008 in Ontario, Canada.
Kansas is 57-7 in exhibition contests, including 7-3 outside the U.S. Under Self, the Jayhawks are 25-0, 7-0 on the two aforementioned Canada trips.
#2 RIO ADAMS (Fr., 6-3, 190, G, Seattle, Wash.) -- Explosive combo guard who averaged 21.0 points, 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds his senior year in high school.
#25 MILTON DOYLE (Fr., 6-4, 170, G, Chicago, Ill.) -- Can play either the point or two guard... Coach Self has compared him to 2012 senior Tyshawn Taylor, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets.
#34 PERRY ELLIS (Fr., 6-8, 225, F, Wichita, Kan.) -- McDonald's All-American who was the four-time Kansas Gatorade High School Player of the Year... His team won four state championships... A big body that should help immediately with Thomas Robinson leaving for the NBA.
#21 CHRISTIAN GARRETT (So.-RS, 6-3, 185, F, Los Angeles, Calif.) -- A walk on who played in seven games last season... Joined the program in January 2011.
#15 ELIJAH JOHNSON (Sr., 6-4, 195, G, Las Vegas, Nev.) -- A returning starter who is Kansas' leading returning scorer (10.2 ppg) from last season... Led the 2011-12 KU team with 69 three-pointers made and 55 steals.
#33 LANDEN LUCAS (Fr., 6-10, 240, F, Portland, Ore.) -- A big body who has tremendous skill set... Averaged 21 points and 14 rebounds his senior season in high school.
#10 EVAN MANNING (Fr., 6-3, 170, G, Lawrence, Kan.) -- A combo guard who went to prep school following high school... Son of former KU great Danny Manning, now the head coach at Tulsa.
#23 BEN McLEMORE (Fr.-RS, 6-5, 195, G, St. Louis, Mo.) -- A wing who is explosive and has great range... Practiced with the team the second half of last season and will vie for a starting role in 2012-13.
#32 ZACH PETERS (Fr., 6-9, 240, F, Plano, Texas) -- A bruiser inside who has a knack for finding the ball... Averaged 14.7 points and 7.2 rebounds for his state championship team his senior year in high school... Was a standout in basketball and football in high school.
#24 TRAVIS RELEFORD (Sr.-RS, 6-6, 210, G, Kansas City, Mo.) -- A returning starter from last season's NCAA runner-up team... A fifth-year player who played internationally twice before coming to KU.
#20 NIKO ROBERTS (Jr., 5-11, 175, G, Huntington, N.Y.) -- A walk on who is entering his third season at Kansas... Played in seven games last season as a sophomore... Son of assistant coach Norm Roberts.
#11 TYLER SELF (Fr., 6-2, 165, G, Lawrence, Kan.) -- A walk on who is the son of head coach Bill Self... Will add depth to the guard position.
#1 NAADIR THARPE (So., 5-11, G, Worcester, Mass.) -- A point guard who played in 32 of 39 games last season... Has great shooting range.
#31 JAMARI TRAYLOR (Fr.-RS, 6-8, 220, F, Chicago, Ill.) -- An inside player with high energy... Practiced with the team the second half of last season and will vie for a starting role in 2012-13.
#4 JUSTIN WESLEY (Jr.-TR, 6-9, 220, F, Fort Worth, Texas) -- An extraordinary athlete who has great length and speed for a forward... Was a regular off the bench last season, playing in 36 of 39 games.
#3 ]ANDREW WHITE (Fr., 6-6, 210, G, Chester, Va.) -- A quick, tall guard who has outstanding range... Averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds his senior year in high school.
#5 JEFF WITHEY (Sr.-RS, 7-0, 235, C, San Diego, Calif.) -- 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year who set the league and school season record with 140 blocked shots... Also broke the NCAA Tournament record with 31 blocked shots in six games in 2012.
#40 KEVIN YOUNG (Sr.-TR, 6-8, 190, F, Perris, Calif.) -- Was a regular off the bench last season... An explosive player who has a knack for finding the ball.
Head Coach Bill Self
--Is 269-53 in nine seasons at Kansas and 476-158 in 19 seasons overall. Averages 29.9 wins per season while at Kansas.
--Three-time national coach of the year - 2000 (at Illinois), 2009 and 2012 at Kansas.
--Five-time conference coach of the year, including four times at Kansas.
--Eight straight Big 12 Conference regular-season titles.
--Has won five postseason Big 12 Championships while at Kansas.
--Has guided Kansas to two Final Fours - 2008 and 2012. Kansas won the 2008 NCAA National Championship and finished runner-up in 2012.
--Kansas has won 197 games over the last six seasons, the most wins in a six-year span in NCAA Division I history. Included are five 30-win seasons. Under Self, Kansas is 100-13 (88.5 percent) over the last three seasons.
--Has coached four conference players of the year and 43 all-conference performers.
2011-12 Kansas Highlights
--The 2011-12 Kansas men's basketball season ended with a 67-59 loss to Kentucky in the NCAA National Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
--Kansas advanced to its 14th Final Four and ninth NCAA title game.
--The Jayhawks went 32-7, posting 30 or more wins for the 11th time in school history, including five of the last six years.
--In 2011-12, KU won its eighth-straight, 12th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 55th all-time conference regular-season title by going 16-2 in Big 12 play.
--The Jayhawks climbed to as high as No. 2 in the polls and were ranked in the Top 10 from Jan. 9 until the end of the season, including six weeks at No. 5 or higher.
--Early in the season, Kansas finished runner-up at the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
--Kansas' 197 victories since 2006-07 are the most in NCAA Division I in a six-year span.
--Since 2009-10, KU is 100-18 which marks the fifth time in NCAA Division I history a team has won at least 100 games in a three-year span.
--Thomas Robinson became the 28th Kansas player to be named Consensus All-America First Team. Robinson was KU's seventh Big 12 Player of the Year and it marked the 14th time in school history a Jayhawk was named his conference player of the year.
--Bill Self was named the Naismith and Rupp National Coach of the Year. He also was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight year and fourth time since he has been at Kansas.
--Two Jayhawks - Thomas Robinson (5) and Tyshawn Taylor (41) - were selected in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Noting Kansas Basketball
--Kansas has gone 243 games without consecutive losses, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. KU's last two straight losses were Jan. 14 vs. Kansas State (59-57 in Allen Fieldhouse) and Jan. 16 at Missouri (89-86 overtime in Mizzou Arena), during the 2005-06 season.
--Kansas has 2,070 all-time victories, second most in NCAA Division I.
--Kansas won its 1,000th all-time conference game with the 83-50 win against Texas Tech on Feb. 18, 2012.
--Kansas has held 178 of its last 184 opponents to under 50 percent shooting.
--KU has held opponents to fewer than 100 points in 373 consecutive games. The last team to score 100 on Kansas was Texas on Feb. 11, 2002, a KU 110-103 overtime victory.
--Kansas has sold out its last 180 games in Allen Fieldhouse, dating back to the second game of the 2001-02 season.
--Over the last six seasons, including 2011-12, Kansas has averaged 32.8 victories per year with five 30-win seasons.
--Each KU senior class since 1986-87 has won at least 100 games. Tyshawn Taylor's four-year record was 127-21 (2012 graduate).
--Every four-year player Bill Self has had at KU has been part of at least one Final Four team. Redshirt senior Conner Teahan from the 2011-12 team was a part of two as he was on the 2008 NCAA National Championship team and a member of the 2011-12 NCAA runner-up squad.
--Kansas has won 12 of the 16 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last eight. Kansas' 55 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kansas' eight-straight league titles is a school record, surpassing the six straight set from 1922-27.
--Kansas has won 23 or more games in each of the last 23 seasons dating back to 1988-89 and has 22 victories 27 times in the last 28 years starting in 1984-85.
--Bill Self has won 23 or more games each of his last 14 seasons as a head coach.
--Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 to have a winning series record against every conference foe.
--KU has led its league in home attendance each of the last 26 seasons dating back to 1986-87 and 31 times in the last 35 years.
--Kansas' 2002 team is the only squad in Big 12 history to go undefeated in conference play at 16-0.
--Kansas is first in the conference in wins with a 217-41 record in Big 12 regular-season games. Texas is next at 176-82. Including the league postseason championship, Kansas is tops at 248-49, while Texas is second at 197-98.
--Kansas is the only Big 12 school to have won a regular-season championship with two different coaches (Roy Williams and Bill Self).
--Under Bill Self, Kansas is 69-4 (94.5 percent) in Big 12 home games: 8-0 in 2004, 7-1 in 2005, 7-1 in 2006, 7-1 in 2007, 8-0 in 2008, 8-0 in 2009, 8-0 in 2010, 7-1 in 2011 and 9-0 in 2012.
--Kansas has won 10 or more league games for the last 18 seasons and 50 times overall, including 2011-12.
--Kansas leads the Big 12 with 48 all-time Academic All-Big 12 selections since the inception of the conference in 1996-97.
--Including 2011-12, KU has 37 Academic All-Big 12 First Team selections and 11 second team selections. KU's 37 first team selections are 16 more than Texas and Kansas State's 21 each.
--In the Bill Self era, Kansas has had 25 Academic All-Big 12 selections, which is best in the Big 12, for an average of almost three per year (2.8 average). This includes 2011-12.
--In December 2010, KU alum David Booth bought the original rules of basketball by the inventor of the game and KU's first coach James Naismith. Booth plans to bring the rules to Lawrence and Allen Fieldhouse.
--Kansas' school-record 69-game home court winning streak, from 2007-11, led the nation for more than two seasons and ranks 11th all-time in the NCAA records book. With the current 22-game win streak, Kansas is 91-1 in Allen Fieldhouse in its last 92 games.
--Under Bill Self, Kansas has won 10 or more consecutive games 10 times, including once during the 2011-12 season.
--Kansas has won 55-straight home games against non-conference competition.
--Under Bill Self, Kansas is 43-6 following a loss. Kansas has won 25-straight games following a loss.
--When former Jayhawk Mario Chalmers won the 2012 NBA Title with the Miami Heat, he became only the second player in KU history to win both an NCAA and an NBA title. Chalmers joined former KU great Clyde Lovellette who was the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA for Kansas' 1952 NCAA National Championship team and later won three NBA titles with the Minneapolis Lakers and Boston Celtics.